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How to Run a Successful Car Wash Fundraiser:
by Lance Winslow III
Post Car Wash
Good locations for fundraiser car washes are hard to come by. If you don't clean up the area and leave it free from trash and debris you not only hurt your group's future car washes at that location but also other groups in your city who may also need money as much or more than you do. You should also wash down the area with a hose or pressure washer if possible to clean off any mud. Make sure when rinsing the parking lot that you follow the BMP's in Chapter Two.
Make sure that if anyone wants any of their towels back that they go and get them. Collect all the other towels and save them for your next car wash. Make sure to untie the clothesline you used to dry the towels. Don't cut it down. There should be no evidence that it was ever there.
Announce Your Earnings
Tally up the number of cars washed, ticket sales and donations. Let everyone know how much they earned. This is a form of instant gratification. Remember this is a country built on capitalistic value. By announcing the money made and an 'ata-boy', members will feel good about what they have done. The money represents success. Everyone wants to be a winner. Tell them they are winners. You did it! No excuses. You just did it. You accomplished something great through team work. If your group can do this, they can do anything. If you are a sports team you've united your team. If you have an upcoming game, you have a much better chance to win. If you're another kind of group you've built unity and confidence in the group and a 'We're in it to win it' attitude.
Thank You Letters
You should send thank you letters to the following people that have helped you with your group's car wash:
You may want to give certificates to some people that made your fundraiser possible. If you give one to the insurance agent or gas station owner, buy a couple of inexpensive frames and frame them. They will proudly display them in their offices. They will think of you each time they see them. Have the person that designed your tickets make the certificates. You can buy special paper from Office Depot, Staples or OfficeMax quite inexpensively. If you have a local stationery store, ask for a twenty percent discount and mention them in your next newsletter. Maybe you can give them a free business card ad in one of your programs for a free package of blank certificates. You should also give certificates to your committee members. Present them at the annual banquet.
Be creative and think of something extra special for thanking the property owner. Maybe a plaque for their wall. Nominate them at the local Chamber of Commerce for an award. Call county officials and tell them of the property owner's unselfish act. Remember big property owners such as shopping center owners have a lot of political clout. Getting a county supervisor or city council member to recommend them for an award, proclamation or certificate of appreciation is a piece of cake. It also makes the property management company look good. You're making friends and it can only help you and your group next time.
Try to find a reason to thank a city employee or a city council member. Did they help your fundraiser in any remote way? Present a certificate to them at a city council meeting.
Fixed Site Car Wash Owners
Send the local fixed site car wash owners an apology letter for taking all their business away that weekend. Explain that it's an annual event. Thank them for their understanding in this matter. Tell them your group's members promise to continue to patronize their business throughout the rest of the year. You may find that next year they donate $100 to your group's car wash fundraiser and give you their car wash coupons to give away to every car that comes through your event.
Letters to the Editor
Write a letter to each local newspaper. The first paragraph should state: "We were overwhelmed by the support we received from local businesses, our city and the community."
Say things like:
Try to make sure the same people that received the pledges knock on the same doors to collect them. With corporate pledges, the leader of your group or the treasurer should go to the company to personally collect the funds and thank them for supporting your group. If your members are reluctant to go back to collect pledges, send them in teams of two or three and cover all of their corresponding areas. If someone refuses to pay, act very sad and tell them how hard you worked.
Try to be objective. If you can't, just tell everyone they did a perfect job and pat yourself on the back. If you think you can be a little objective, ask yourself:
Then ask yourself these questions:
New additions to this book can be found on the Car Wash Guys International, Inc. corporate web site. The address is: http://www.carwashguys.com/fundraisers/LAschools.html
Set a Tentative Date for Next Year
Put this book and your evaluation pages in a folder with a piece of paper recommending a tentative date for next year's car wash fundraiser. Put a big rubber band on the folder so nothing falls out. Write across the folder "Top Secret - Car Wash Fundraising Information" at a 45ø angle. On the tab on the folder write the month of your tentative date. Give this folder to the treasurer of your group. This way it won't get lost and it will be automatically transferred to next year's treasurer. Even if you are not involved in the group next year, your car wash fundraiser event's legacy will live on. The treasurer in any group will generally be very responsible and will also know the reality surrounding your group's financial picture. They will surely bring this folder to the group's attention if they get low on funds.
When picking a date for next year, stay away from three day weekends, religious holidays, county fairs and predominately rainy months.
About the Author:
Lance Winslow started washing aircraft out at the local airport at age 12. He wanted to be a pilot like his dad. His business grew all the way through High School. He was class President, and four year letterman in track and realized the team always needed money for travel and uniforms. By this time Lance had a drivers licence and had set up a mobile unit washing police cars, Post office Jeeps and Utility Company vehicles. Knowing that raising money was important and quite challenging, Lance decided to take his washing skills and put them in motion for the team and his class.
After high School, Lance's business began to grow more. He eventually started to franchise it. He required each of The Car Wash Guys to participate in local charity events each month. Lance has personally helped groups raise over 500,000 dollars for themselves. It is hard to say today how many dollars are earned through Lance and his team's efforts each, but it is significant. Preferring to teach people to fish rather than give out fishes. Today The Car Wash Guys have franchisees in 20 states and wash nearly 10,000 cars a day. There are 183 territories with Car Wash Guys in them. Lance decided to start a foundation to help with this program.
He also wrote this book of all his experiences helping groups just like his senior class and track team back in high school raise money. Knowing he could not wash at every fundraiser in existence even though he would love nothing more. Lance gives his knowledge freely and hopes to keep car wash fundraisers as a favorite fundraiser. He feels it builds team work and hard work ethic and knows the customers love it.
Visit The Car Wash Guys web site at http://www.carwashguys.com/index2.html